And now, thanks to a new book, we don’t have to imagine it anymore.
The trio, plus a host of other stars including Caitlin Moran, Sue Perkinsand Deborah Frances-White, are all contributing essays to Last Christmas: Memories of Christmases past – and hopes for future ones, a collection edited by Thompson and Greg Wise.
The book will tie in with the film Last Christmas, which has been inspired by Wham’s Christmas anthem of the same name, and is a love story combined with a message of tolerance and acceptance.
In the film, Kate (Clarke) takes on a job as an elf in a year-round Christmas Shop in London, one of a series of bad decisions in her life. However, when she meets Tom (Henry Golding), things start to change. The film is directed by Paul Feig, and the story was written by Thompson and Wise, with Thompson and artist Bryony Kimmings collaborating on the screenplay. The film will feature previously unreleased music by George Michael, who collaborated on the concept for the film before his death.
Essays in the book will see actors, politicians, singers, charity workers, refugees and homeless people writing about what Christmas means to them, what past Christmases have been like, what they’d change, and what they feel Christmas should be, away from the consumerism, the John Lewis advert, and the Instagram posts.
Also contributing an essay are Andy Serkis, Bill Bailey, Kimmings, Emily Watson, Fergal Keane, Lyse Doucet, Feig, Phyllida Law, Richard Ayoade, Sophie Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Twiggy.
In one of the essays a Syrian refugee writes about his experiences and learning the customs of Christmases in a refugee camp and then in England living with an English couple. Ayoade’s essay is described by publisher Quercus as a “funny and poignant” piece about Christmas when he was a child.
Thompson and Wise will also write an essay each as well as the introduction to the book. They said: “We are witnessing a rise in homelessness in our country, as well as in the demonisation of migrants and refugees.
“There is a suspicion and fear of ‘The Other’ creeping into our nation’s dialogue, which has become front-and-centre during Brexit.
“Our hope is that the movie will strike a chord with everyone who watches it, and that the book will remind people of the importance of values such as kindness and generosity.”
The book will be published on 31 October, with the film released on 15 November.
If you’re unfamiliar with the long-running British comedy Peep Show, I’m sorry to say that you are living very wrongly. The show ran for an astounding nine seasons and launched the career of Oscar-winner Olivia Colman. Starz, Fox, and Spike have all attempted to re-create the magical inner-monologues of Mark and Jez for American audiences to no avail. But now, according to an essay in The Guardian by Sam Bain (one of the show’s original creators) we may finally be getting an American version. It won’t just be a straight remake, though. Bain’s essay was on the importance of diversity in comedy, and he’s announced that the American version will feature female losers in the lead roles instead of male ones “What would Peep Show have been like with women as the two leads?” he wrote. “It’s a great question – and it’s one I’ll shortly have the answer to, because there is a script in development for a US Peep Show with two female leads. It’s at FX Networks and it will be written by top comedy brain Karey Dornetto (Portlandia, Community).” This is so exciting, we might have to order four naan to celebrate.
Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman will star in the film adaptation of Florian Zeller’s award-winning play The Father, it is being reported.
The tragi-comic piece is about a man experiencing dementia, and is part of Zeller’s trilogy of plays about family (alongside The Mother and The Son). Hopkins will play the titular father, Andre, while Colman will play his daughter Anne.
The film version is expected to start shooting in the UK later this year, with Zeller himself on board to direct the piece (in what will be his directorial debut) with Christopher Hampton adapting the screenplay.
First running in France in 2012, the English adaptation of Zeller’s play first premiered at the Ustinov Studio in 2014, with the role of the father played by Kenneth Cranham. The show went on to transfer to the West End, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award and Cranham won the award for Best Actor in a Play.
It later had its American premiere in 2016, where it was nominated for Best New Play and star Frank Langella won the Tony Award for Best Actor.
A release date for the film version of The Father is to be confirmed.
Olivia Colman is in talks to play a chain-smoking kleptomaniac in new film Gypsy Boy.
Colman, 54, who won an Oscar for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, may play shoplifter Aunt Minnie in an adaptation of Mikey Walsh’s bestselling memoir.
Film producer Kevin Loader said: “There definitely have been conversations and we would be absolutely thrilled if Olivia was available.”
The book follows Mikey’s life in a Romany community and his struggles with his abusive, bare-knuckle boxer father, who cannot accept that his son is gay.
Filming is due to start in autumn, but there are scheduling conflicts with the fourth season of The Crown, in which Colman is to play the Queen.
In February the Mirror reported how Olivia Colman melted hearts when she gave an adorable Oscars speech after she bagged the award for Best Actress for her role in The Favourite.
But amid all the hilarity of sticking her tongue out at the Academy when they tried to hurry her up and describing her win as “hilarious” there was a very inspirational message at the heart of Olivia’s speech.
The 45-year-old revealed how she never gave up hope, even when she had to work as a cleaner to make ends meet.
Olivia told the Oscars audience: “Any little girl who’s practising her speech on the telly, you never know!
“I used to work as a cleaner, I loved that job but I did spend quite a lot of time imagining this.”
The Inventing the Future Exhibition runs from Saturday, September 29 to Sunday, October 14 and is a free exhibition celebrating the accomplishments of its 20th century students.
The school, located in Holt, North Norfolk, was founded in 1555 and after beginning life as a small grammar school underwent a cultural revolution in the early 1900s, tripling the pupils it sent to Oxbridge and championing modern languages, literature and science.
Perhaps most notable of the alumni is the inventor James Dyson who attended the school from 1956 to 1965 and some of his early vacuums will be on display.
Other artefacts include the 1934 original manuscript The Liberal Fascist from the poet WH Auden about his thoughts on education at Gresham’s and actress Olivia Colman’s Golden Globe statuette which she won for her role in The Night Manager in 2017.
Works from Greshamians such as poet Stephen Spender and his artist brother Humphrey, composer Benjamin Britten and Gerald Holtom, the artist who created the famous symbol of international peace, will also be on display.
Gresham’s educated Christopher Cockerell, who invented the hovercraft using two empty coffee tins and a vacuum cleaner fan, is represented in the exhibition alongside Frank Perkins who developed the diesel engine.
In the field of arts and culture the school provided the springboard for Auden, Spender, Britten and Nicholson.
More than 15 key artworks by the leading British painter Ben Nicholson are also on show.
Douglas Robb, headmaster of Gresham’s School, said: “Gresham’s is an historic and vibrant co-educational school.
“We pride ourselves that a Gresham’s education enables young people to develop in a huge variety of areas, the school has a tradition of producing outstanding achievers in all walks of life, including architects, diplomats, engineers, musicians, actors and sports men and women and much more.
“We believe that this celebration of some of our greatest alumni will inspire future generations to come to study and thrive here.”
In 1903 Gresham’s School moved from its ageing premises at the Old School House in the centre of Holt to a greenfield location on the outskirts with state-of-the-art science labs and purpose-built boarding houses.
Over two decades the school roll went from 40 pupils to 240 and a ‘cultural revolution’ occurred, though more than 100 pupils and staff lost their lives in World War I.
Simon Kinder, Gresham’s School’s head of history, said: “The small provincial grammar school emerged at the dawn of the Twentieth Century as one of the most progressive, creative and innovative public schools in Britain and it was within this vibrant educational crucible that the pupils who were to go on to invent the future were to be shaped.”
In the world of journalism and broadcasting the school boasts the BBC’s first Director General, Lord Reith, Cecil Graves, another Director General, and Philip Pembroke-Stevens who was foreign correspondent for the Express and Telegraph.
Pembroke-Stevens was expelled from Germany for his critical reporting of Nazism in 1934 and later shot reporting on Japanese invasion of China in 1937.
Inventing The Future (Cromer Road, Holt, NR25 6EA) runs from Saturday, September 29 to Sunday, October 14 from 9am to 5pm with free entry.
To find out more information on the exhibition and to attend one of the free talks visit the website.
Olivia Colman has won one of the highest accolades of her career so far, after being named best actress at the Venice Film Festival.
The film tells the story of the rivalry between two of Queen Anne’s cousins, both bidding to be considered her “favourite”, and also stars British actors Nicholas Hoult and Mark Gatiss.
So far, critics have lauded ‘The Favourite’, particularly Olivia’s performance, as well as director Yorgos Lanthimos, who previously worked with the actress in ‘The Lobster’.
Olivia had stiff competition for the best actress award, particularly from Lady Gaga, whose performance in ‘A Star Is Born’ – which also debuted at the festival– has also won near-unanimous praise from critics.
It was a big night for ‘The Favourite’, which also scored the Grand Jury Prize, one of the Venice Film Festival’s biggest honours, though the top award went to Alfonso Cuarón’s family drama ‘Roma’.
Olivia is currently gearing up for another regal role, picking up where Claire Foy left off in the Netflix drama ‘The Crown’, in which she’s to play Queen Elizabeth II in middle age, opposite Tobias Menzies’ Prince Philip.
Initially making a name for herself in roles in British comedies like ‘The Office’, ‘Peep Show’ and ‘Black Books’, Olivia is now better known for her drama performances including ‘Broadchurch’, ‘The Night Manager’ and the upcoming ‘Les Misérables’ remake, in which she’ll play Madame Thénardier.
Last year, she also joined the all-star cast of Kenneth Branagh’s new take on ‘Murder On The Orient Express’, which also featured the likes of Dame Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Derek Jacobi and Branagh himself.
‘The Favourite’ is due for release in the UK in January 2019, but will be showcased at the upcoming BFI London Film Festival.
Olivia Colman has been named the most powerful person in British television, according to a ranking by the Radio Times.
The actor, who will star as Queen Elizabeth II in the next series of Netflix’s The Crown, comes top of the magazine’s TV 100 power list, which attempts to rank the on-screen and behind-the-scenes individuals who have had an exceptional past year in British television.
Colman rose to prominence in Channel 4’s Peep Show before making award-winning performances in Broadchurch and The Night Manager. She is also due to star in the BBC’s forthcoming Les Misérables drama and as Strawberry in an adaptation of Watership Down.
Chris Chibnall, the new Doctor Who showrunner, takes second place, while third place is shared by siblings Daisy May and Charlie Cooper – the creators, writers and stars of BBC comedy This Country, which parodies rural life.
Other stars who make the top 10 include Declan Donnelly, who is preparing to host I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here without longt on-screen partner Ant McPartlin, BBC natural history presenter David Attenborough, and Luther star Idris Elba.
Hugh Grant is in seventh place following praise for his performance in A Very English Scandal, one spot above Vanessa Kirby, who won a Bafta for her portrayal of Princess Margaret in The Crown. Benedict Cumberbatch, who is preparing to play Vote Leave boss Dominic Cummings in a forthcoming Channel 4 drama, comes ninth following his performance in Sky’s Patrick Melrose, while Nicola Walker completes the top 10 after appearing in The Split and Unforgotten.
Other individuals to make the top 20 include Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee, BBC journalist Carrie Gracie, who helped campaign for equal pay, and Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.
The list is drawn up by dozens of actors and industry executives from major broadcasters and independent production companies, including Sir Lenny Henry, ITV director of television Kevin Lygo, and Amazon’s director of original TV Georgia Brown. Radio Times editors then choose the final ranking.
Susanna Lazarus, RadioTimes.com associate editor, said: “At a time of rapid change in the way we watch TV, how appropriate that our list is topped by a brilliant performer who has starred in some of the biggest broadcast shows of recent times and is soon to become the queen of on-demand as the lead in Netflix’s The Crown.”
The top 20
- Olivia Colman
- Chris Chibnall
- Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper
- Declan Donnelly
- Idris Elba
- David Attenborough
- Hugh Grant
- Vanessa Kirby
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Nicola Walker
- Lisa McGee
- Gareth Southgate
- Carrie Gracie
- Richard Cowles
- Jodie Whittaker
- Laura Kuenssberg
- Romesh Ranganathan
- Gary Lineker
- Piers Morgan
- Lennie James
Since you’re here…
A new period drama starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz is to premiere during the BFI London Film Festival.
The Favourite will be shown on the event’s American Express Gala night at Cineworld in Leicester Square on October 18.
Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Yorgos Lanthimos, known for The Lobster, the film is set in the early 18th century against the backdrop of the war between England and France.
Colman plays Queen Anne, while Weisz portrays Lady Sarah, her close friend who governs the country while the tempestuous Queen is unwell.
However, Lady Sarah’s close bond with the Queen is threatened when charming new servant Abigail, played by Stone, arrives, and she sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.
The film also stars Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, James Smith and Jenny Rainsford.
BFI London Film Festival artistic director Tricia Tuttle said: “This is wickedly funny film-making from Yorgos Lanthimos, who is operating at virtuoso frequency.
“The Favourite is a delight from start to finish, powered by a trio of riotous performances from Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, who are all clearly revelling in the wit and rhythm of the script. The perfect Gala for our principal partner, American Express.”
The film festival kicks off on October 10 with Widows, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Viola Davis.
It ends on October 21, with Laurel and Hardy film Stan And Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly and directed by Filth director Jon S Baird.
The Favourite, the new Irish-produced film from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos, which stars Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, is to receive its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
The period drama is the third collaboration between Greek director Lanthimos and Irish company Element Pictures, and follows their success with The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Lanthimos, Colman and Weisz previously worked together on The Lobster.
Set in the early 18th Century, The Favourite promises much in the way of political and personal intrigue involving Britain’s Queen Anne (Colman), the Duchess of Marlborough (Weisz) and her servant, Abigail Hill (Stone).
Sensing an opportunity to move back up the social ladder, Abigail becomes the Queen’s new companion and, we are told, “she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way”.
The Favourite will screen in competition at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs from August 29 to September 8.
It will be released worldwide by film studio Fox Searchlight, opening in US cinemas on November 23 – a key month in awards season – and in Ireland on January 1.
One of the film’s Irish producers, Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney, described Venice as “the ideal world premiere for Yorgos’ bold and audacious foray into period filmmaking”.
“We hope audiences will embrace this unique and entertaining film and we are delighted to be working with Fox Searchlight on its international release,” he added.
Netflix has cast Olivia Colman to replace Claire Foy as Her Royal Highness in the drama series from Peter Morgan. Colman will take over the lead role for the show’s (not yet ordered but expected) third and fourth seasons. Foy was only set to play the young Queen for two seasons.
According to Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos, the plan is to have the period drama run for six seasons, following the Queen’s story throughout her whole life. “This is going to take Queen Elizabeth from age 29 to, presumably, the current day. We’ll see it lay out over decades,” the exec said last year. “The idea is to do this over six decades, in six seasons presumably, and make the whole show [run] over eight to 10 years.” Every two seasons, new castmembers are expected to be cast in the major roles to account for the years that have passed.
Foy herself spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about exiting the series, for which she won a Golden Globe earlier this year. “I’m quite philosophical about these things, and I think the amazing thing about the show is the fact that it will go on and that it hasn’t ended badly. It’ll go on and have another life,” she said. “I can’t wait to watch it, and I just think whoever they get to play that part, they’ll be extraordinary. I will never watch it with any sense of bitterness or regret. I will feel what I will feel now, which is so happy and lucky for the experience.”
Colman, who has had roles in feature films The Lobster and Hot Fuzz, will be seen next on the big screen in Murder on the Orient Express. Her television credits include Broadchurch, Fleabag and The Night Manager, the latter of which also won her a Golden Globe earlier this year.
The second season of The Crown is set to debut Dec. 8 on the streaming service. Season one castmembers Matt Smith (Prince Philip), Vanessa Kirby (Princess Margaret), Victoria Hamilton (Queen Mother) and Jeremy Northam (Antony Eden) will return. The series also will welcome newcomers Matthew Goode (as Lord Snowdon) and Michael C. Hall (as John F. Kennedy).